Delhi Riots: Azim Premji University students protest the incarceration of UAPA accused Gulfisha Fatima

Students of Karnataka’s Azim Premji University (APU) on Monday organized a candlelight vigil, demanding the release of Gulfisha Fatima, a Muslim student leader in Delhi incarcerated for 18 months under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Fatima, a young Muslim leader from Northeast Delhi’s Seelampur had organized the anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in her neighbourhood. After the February 2020 Delhi riots, she was arrested and accused of being involved in planning the ‘riot’ and was charged under the draconian UAPA sections. She has been in jail since April 2019.

A press release by students claims, “Over one hundred and fifty students gathered inside the University Campus with placards calling for the release of all political prisoners incarcerated under UAPA, sedition and other repressive laws especially in the aftermath of the protests against the CAA-NRC-NPR.”

Students raised slogans in the vigil, spoke in solidarity with Gulfisha Fatima and other political prisoners, performed poetry and songs.

Several faculty members spoke in solidarity and also demanded the immediate release of Gulfisha and the other political prisoners including Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, and Meeran Haider.

School of education teacher, Akash Bhattacharya said he stands with Gulfisha not from a position of sympathy but out of solidarity.

He also emphasized the significance of a young Muslim female voice articulating such causes.

The statement further reads, “The students, in their speeches, stressed the power of students and their responsibility to speak up as they are the future of the nation.”

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